Itching for another adventure, Ride My Domain hits the road again. This time we head back to Canada to explore the beautiful upper Columbia River basin. Our final destination is Golden, BC. home to Kicking Horse Resort, Mount 7 and numerous other epic trail systems. Towering glacier-capped peaks in every direction, the usual epic BC views, greet us as we roll into the valley. Golden, sitting at the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia rivers is a great little resort community. The historic downtown sits along side Kicking Horse River and offers many fantastic restaurants and unique local shops. If your are looking for a more vigorous experience it even has a nice trials park, pump track and excellent skate park next door at the rec center. For a small town we were surprised at how much it has to offer and were stoked to check it all out.
Our first stop was Kicking Horse Resort, just a short 10-minute drive from Golden, to check into our pad at Glacier Lodge. Located at the base of the mountain, Glacier Lodge is an awesome place overlooking the village and is meters away from the gondola. It is also connected to the rental shop, restaurants and bar making everything super convenient and easy to get to. Marketing associate Andy Brown was happy to give us the grand tour around the mountain and showing off the sweet Scott DH bikes they have for rent at the resort.
On our ride up the gondola we fully appreciated the approximately 4,000-foot ascent to the top of Kicking Horse Bike Park. The most striking aspect of the mountain are the distinct sections, from sweet alpine meadow and talus field at the top, a steep and gnarly mid section and ending with some less steep but super flowy sections with great soil. If you need some fortification before you make your way down the mountain, the Eagle's Eye Restaurant sits at the summit where you can enjoy a great menu and bar with the best mountain views we have ever seen. It's worth checking out even if you don't ride!
On the mountain we hooked up with local rippers Brady Starr and Hayden Genoud who ride for Derailed Bike Shop in Golden. They were stoked to show us the goods, and man, were they fun to ride with. We first checked out the Rock Garden trail, which is an exceptional trail combining an epic boulder field with wooden features built into the rock. After this very unique warm up trail we were ready for the rest of the mountain. We shredded the remainder of the epic alpine bowl down to mid mountain where things got really interesting. Dropping into Blaster trail we were greeted by rock gardens and huge overhead berms cut deep into the steep hillside. We then checked out the Western Open DH race run down Pioneer trail that proved to be a super fast, steep and burly DH run leaving a huge smile on all of our faces at the bottom. Even though we had been riding for a while, the vert is so large that we still had another sweet berm and jump trail at the bottom that took us right back to the gondola so we could do it all over again. It's amazing the variety of trails this mountain offers and it never disappointed. Next ride down we were able to shred yet another sick high-speed alpine run to check out Stick Rock trail, a Kicking Horse classic. Steep rock faces and enough woodwork to build several cabins keep your attention on this one and are not for the faint of heart!
With a full day riding under our belts we were tired but still ready to go explore more of the area so we head to local rider Andy Bostocks' backyard pump track. Unfortunately, Andy and his family were camping for the weekend but were gracious enough to let us check out his pad anyway. After a fun pump track session we were ready to refuel with some bomber food and brews back in Golden. Awesome way to end the day with good ole Canadian hospitality!
The next morning, we started early to meet Brady Starr again who was anxious to show us some of the other trails in Golden. We cross the Columbia river and head into the Moonraker trail system. Brady runs Starr Trail Solutions along with his buddy Evan and they were stoked to let us check out some of trails they had built and some new trails still in the works. After 5 years on the trail crew at Kicking Horse, Brady decided to trail build full time on his own and branch out into the community to help bring more epic single track to the Golden Valley. They have done a great job adding sweet new trails to the existing trail system just outside of town that you can easily ride to from anywhere in town. "The mountain is our canvas and the pulaski is our brush, painting pretty pictures in the dirt for people to ride", says Brady. His enthusiasm shows in their trails, which are tremendously fun to ride. Brady is currently working on a contract in Revelstoke so watch for more epic single track at that location in the future.
Unfortunately, time was short and while we were able to spend another full day riding at Kicking Horse we just don't have enough all the other epic riding spots here in Golden. That being said, it gives us an awesome excuse to make another trip back to Golden! Big thanks to Andy Brown at Kicking Horse and Brady Starr for showing us the goods! Till next time…
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